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DeLisa Fairweather, PhD

  • Associate Professor - Adjunct

Departmental Affiliations

Contact Information

4500 San Pablo Road
Jacksonville, Florida 32224

410 955 0116

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PhD, University of Western Australia, 1998


The goal of research in my lab is to understand whether chemicals and/or infections in our environment are responsible for the rise in chronic inflammatory diseases like heart and autoimmune diseases. My aim is to develop animal models of disease that resemble human disease as closely as possible and then to translate findings from the animal models to epidemiologic and human studies. We have developed a unique model of virus-induced autoimmune heart disease in mice that is remarkably similar to human disease and are conducting collaborative studies with epidemiologists and clinical researchers to gain a better understanding of disease pathogenesis. Because the immune response is very different between males and females, we are studying the effect of toxins and chemicals in male and female mice and humans. We are currently examining how microbes initiate autoimmune disease by examining the relationship of the innate immune response to coxsackievirus, complete Freund’s adjuvant and Pertussis toxin (used in autoimmune mouse models) to the progression of acute and chronic autoimmune disease. We are also examining the effect of key environmental agents on disease initiation and progression. Some examples of the environmental agents we are studying include cigarette smoke, aflatoxin and ozone (pollution).

Honors and Awards

NIH Study Section 2008-current

NIH Atherosclerosis & Inflammation of the Cardiovascular System (AICS) Study Section standing member, 2014-current

American Heart Association Study Section 2009-current, Chair 2014-current

Organization for the Study of Sex Differences Councilor 2010-current

FAHA, Fellow of the American Heart Association

Myocarditis Foundation, Board of Directors 2011-current

  • immunotoxicology, cardiovascular disease, autoimmunity, inflammation, innate immunity, mast cells, macrophages, myocarditis, heart failure, sex differences, endocrine disruptors, allergy, smoking, toxins, pollution, ozone
  • Fairweather D (2014) Autoimmune Skin Diseases: Role of Sex Hormones, Vitamin D and Menopause. In “Skin and Menopause: Management of Clinical Issues”, MA Farage, KW Miller, N Fugate-Woods, and HI Maibach (Eds), Springer-Verlag, in press.

  • Fairweather D*#, Coronado MJ*, Garton AE, Dziedzic JL, Bucek A, Cooper LT Jr, Brandt JE, Alikhan FS, Wang H, Endres CJ, Choi J, Pomper MG & Guilarte TR# (2014) Sex differences in translocator protein 18 kDa (TSPO) in the heart: implications for imaging myocardial inflammation. J Cardiovasc Trans Res 7:192-202, *both are first authors, #both are corresponding authors.

  • Fairweather D* & Root-Bernstein R (2014) Complexities in the relationship between infection and autoimmunity. Curr Allergy Asthma Rep 14:407, *corresponding author.

  • Fairweather D, Cooper LT Jr & Blauwet LA (2013) Sex and gender differences in myocarditis and dilated cardiomyopathy. Curr Probl Cardiol 38:7-46.

  • Abston ED, Barin JG , Cihakova D, Bucek A, Coronado MJ, Brandt JE, Bedja D,  Kim JB, Georgakopoulos D, Gabrielson KL,  Mitzner W & Fairweather D* (2012) IL-33 independently induces eosinophilic pericarditis and cardiac dilation: ST2 improves cardiac function. Circ Heart Fail 5:366-375, *corresponding author.